Utah's Hatch to retire, opening door to possible Romney run

03 January, 2018, 01:52 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.                       unknown

After cycling through his accomplishments and the praise he has received from President Trump, Hatch called himself a "fighter", but also acknowledged "every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves".

During an event last month at the Utah Capitol where Trump celebrated the administration's decision to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, Trump called Hatch "a true fighter" and said he hoped the Republican would continue to serve "in the Senate for a very long time to come".

If he ran, Romney would enter the Senate race as the heavy favorite, having carried Utah in 2012 by a margin of almost 3-to-1 over Democrat Barack Obama.

His retirement from the Senate raises the possibility that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, will run to fill his seat in November's midterm elections.

Romney has until March 15 to file for Hatch's seat.

Hatch chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee and was a major force in getting a tax overhaul through Congress and signed into law in December.

Just imagine what Bannon might say if Romney actually becomes a candidate for office.

Romney's statement did not mention his own plans.

In a video announcement he posted online, Hatch reflected on his time as an amateur boxer in his youth as he explained his desire to step down early next year.

More news: A Child Playing With A Stove Started The Deadly Bronx Apartment Fire

The longest-serving Senate Republican with seven terms under his belt, he was first elected in 1976.

The senator returned the favor at the White House when Trump signed the tax measure, calling him "one heck of a leader".

"Congratulations to Senator Orrin Hatch on an absolutely incredible career".

"Senator Hatch has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honor", Romney wrote.

Brown, a liberal firebrand, said people know Republicans want to help the rich because it's "in their DNA".

In the statement announcing his decision not to run again, Hatch cited work with the disadvantaged among his accomplishments, including helping create the Americans with Disabilities Act, expanding children's health insurance and expanding use of generic drugs.

Bloomberg News reported in October that Bannon was planning to play in nearly every Republican Senate primary contest, anyway, but a couple of the Breitbart News chief's would-be targets - Sen.

But as the president prodded Hatch to stay, voices in his home state were urging him to go. He withdrew after only winning 1 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses. Hatch earned about $39,000 in royalties from his songs in 2005.

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